Book Review – How to sit

Author : Thich Nhat
Print | Kindle
When you read the phrase ‘How to Sit’, it sounds quite funny. You have been doing this all your life and you wonder what is there to know about it now.
You should read this book to know how sitting in the right way can change your life. Thich Nhat explains the basics of where, how and why of sitting.
You can sit anywhere. What do you do on your commute? Worry about every possible thing about life. Thich suggests that the best way to make use of commute time is by sitting.

  • Sit straight with your body relaxed.
  • Smile so that it relaxes your facial muscles.
  • Don’t sit with an expectation because you won’t be in the present moment then.
  • When you sit, you should be at ease, happy and relaxed.
  • You can use a bell to practise your attention on breathing.
  • Just sit daily. It will help you create a habit.
  • When you sit, you can name your feeling as a pleasant feeling and a painful feeling which is the first step in distancing the feeling from you.
  • Count one to ten for every breath, if you lose focus anywhere come back to one. This is not as easy as it sounds.
  • Use a clock and breathe with its rhythm.
  • You can use a notebook to write notes while or after sitting about thoughts or insights.
  • Sitting in a group helps in utilisation of collective energy.


  • You need a stable posture to ground your mind.
  • An ease in sitting helps in nourishing the body and the mind.
  • Sitting and breathing mindfully will bring into your life – peace, clarity, compassion and courage.
  • It helps you weather storms like strong emotions.
  • It is not an obligation but daily nourishment like eating.
  • It develops concentration.

The book makes you ponder on whether there is so much to sitting. When was the last time you sat doing nothing? With no thoughts? Just sitting there and observing how you breathe?
He defines sitting as “sit in such a way that you enjoy sitting, to sit in a relaxed way, with your mind awake, calm, and clear.” Did you ever feel the union of mind, body and breath? Did you know that just by paying attention to your breath can make it calmer, deeper, and more harmonious all by itself?
The book doesn’t tell you something new but presents the known in a calm way. Reading the book itself provides a sense of calm and motivation to pursue meditation. The book doesn’t have long chapters. Just a paragraph or two in each chapter. You can finish the book in half an hour but the satisfaction it leaves makes you come back to it again. Because you feel that you lost something and there are certain concepts you have not mastered yet. 
It doesn’t talk about meditation as a tough affair. It asks you to just sit. Practise sitting without worry first. Then learn to focus on breath. Then provides tips on how to keep the focus and make it a habit and how to save yourself from the possible distractions. 
Once you are into sitting, Thich talks about how you should start sitting in groups to make the meditation easy and how just being there for others. The book ends with guided meditation and how you can create one on your own.


“I like to describe sitting as enjoying doing nothing”
“People can try to steal many things from us, but they can’t steal our determination and our practice.”
“I have passed through many storms. Every storm has to pass, no storm stays forever. This state of mind will pass”
“ Every in-breath can bring joy; every out-breath can bring calm and relaxation. This is a good enough reason to sit. We don’t need to sit with an intention like getting smarter or becoming enlightened. We can sit just to enjoy sitting and breathing.”
“Sit in order to sit. Stand in order to stand. There is no goal or aim in sitting. Do it because it makes you happy.”
“In the present moment, we can be free from regret concerning the past and from fear concerning the future. Happiness isn’t possible without freedom.”
“When you sit, sit in such a way that you feel you have already arrived. To sit doesn’t mean to struggle”
“Breathing in, I know that this is only an emotion. It’s not the whole of me. I am more than my emotions.”
What is your favourite book on mindfulness? What other books by Thich have you read?
Happy Mindfulness!

Book Review – The subtle art of not giving a f*ck

Author: Mark Manson
Print Copy | Kindle
This book has been on my wishlist for really long. I was all excited to start it off finally. I enjoyed the first few chapters for his style of writing. Only after 100 pages I realised that it is more of a book for entertainment than learning something new. He just consolidated the concepts from top self-improvement books and wrote it in his own style giving his own examples to drive the point home. Initially, it was confusing to understand what he was trying to say. But later you realise that there is so much unnecessary introduction to a concept and the actual concept is explained in a quick way.
All the above is criticism for the book, let’s get into why should you read the book. 
If you are new to self-improvement, then you should read this to know the gist of all the important self-improvement books out there. There is a reason why it is one of the best selling books in the market. Instead of you reading different books to understand the basics, he covers them all for you in one book, that too in an entertaining way instead of giving instructions.


Ch1 Don’t Try
The first chapter says “Don’t try”. That attracts you. Because it tricks you into thinking that you can be what you want to be without trying. But that is not the truth. All he says there is choose the few things which you want to excel at. It is about priorities. If you bark at every passing dog, you will never be able to reach the destination.
Ch2 Happiness is a Problem
He talks about the truths of life. Everyone has problems. Happiness comes from solving them. This is another way of telling that happiness is the journey and not the destiny
Ch3 You are not special
He drops another bomb to bring you to reality that you are not special. It is his way of saying that you can’t be good at everything. Choose your priorities and work on that daily to reach where you aspire to be instead of thinking you are special.
Ch4 The Value of Suffering
You might be successful in life but if your values don’t align with what success means to you, you will feel miserable forever. You choose your suffering. You decide what you want to feel good about and what you want to feel bad about.
Ch5 You are always choosing
Everyone has problems. But you can change something in your life when you take responsibility for it and act upon it.
Ch6 You’re wrong about everything
You see a certain facts and form beliefs. Your interpretation could have been wrong. It would not even be a fact but coincidence. Only if you are less certain about yourself, you have the chance to question your beliefs and be open for change.
Ch7 Failure is the way forward
You will learn more from all the failures you ever had than the tons of successes. Just do something about where you want to reach. 
Ch8 The importance of saying no
When you say no to all the things which don’t matter, you make time for all the things which matter. Unlimited freedom doesn’t take you anywhere. It is the freedom through commitment helps you narrow down on what is important to you in life.
Ch9 ….And then you die

You live your life fully doing what you need to do than live like you have forever. When you know that you are eventually going to die, make the most of it by focusing on where you want to reach.
Read this book if you want an entertaining way to learn self-help concepts. Skip this book if you have read enough number of self-help books already.
Happy learning the art of saying no!

Book Review – Find Your Why

Author: Simon Sinek
Print Copy | Kindle
In my previous office, during an all hands session, they showed us the TED Talk of start with why. I was so intrigued by it that I went back and watched it again. It was a mind blowing concept which I hadn’t thought of till then. The book ‘Start with Why’ has been on my to read list forever but haven’t found the motivation to read it as I already knew the concept. This book ‘Find your why’ is a follow-up of start with why where the author tells you how to find the why to lead a more fulfilled life.
In the beginning of the book, the author talks about how fulfillment and happiness are different. The concept is so relatable that I started using it in my daily conversations. Happiness is fleeting but fulfillment is what brings a smile on your face at the end of a tiring day. I could very well relate why I was searching for happiness day after day when I had everything. The answer was simple. I spend majority of my day at work and the work doesn’t make me feel fulfilled. Just like how I feel that every book I read, I read it at the right time. This book also gave me insights on what is wrong with my present life and how I can lead a life which is fulfilling.
When a person says, “I want to do what I love,” there is a majority which opposes that it is only for the privileged. But this book shows that even a common man, if he can figure out his why, he doesn’t have to work for the rest of his life. He needs to keep living his why. On his deathbed, he will be proud of the life he lived than die with regrets of just focusing on making money.
The story doesn’t end at fulfilling individuals why. He also talks about how organisations with why are valued more than the ones without it. I could relate to this as I remember how Satya Nadella repeatedly talks in ‘Hit Refresh’ how he decided to work on the why of Microsoft when he became CEO.
The concept is great. But the book lacked in practicality of implementing it. It asks you to get an interpreter. It is difficult to find one who can align with the concept and bring out the right theme. It doesn’t have enough prompts for the stories. It doesn’t have enough examples of themes. A wrong interpreter might cause more damage than self interpretation.
At the end of the book, there is a FAQ. The concepts mentioned in that part of the book should have been in the chapters as they are mainstream ones. It added a lot of value and made the concept much clearer.
Overall, it is a mind opening read. But it would have been great if the book would have been easily implementable. 
What are you waiting for? Rush, ‘Find your why’ and lead a more fulfilling life.
Happy finding your why!

Book Review – The Bullet Journal Method

Author : Ryder Carroll
Print Copy | Kindle
A year ago I watched the Ted talk of Ryder Carroll. He talked about a system with the help of which he bet the Attention deficit syndrome he was struggling with. I was impressed and wanted to read more about the system with the help of which he achieved it but I totally forgot about it.
In the past one year, I had been maintaining various journals and as a part of understanding what bullet journal is about I picked up this book. To my surprise, it is a combination of the all the journals I did in the past combined into one system. It was nice to read the book as it was a validation for whatever I did so far.
Will I also combine all my journals into one and say that I am writing a bullet journal? No. What worked for him, won’t work for me.You can ask me how can I say that without trying. I will be tired by the time I learn all rules and it will curb my creativity. I prefer everything digital as it is easy to carry around instead of a book which I can’t have with me all the time. Even if I get a small book, my handwriting is big and it won’t even suffice me for a week.

Why should you read this book?

If you have got no clue about journaling and want a rule book to start off with, you should read this. The book doesn’t talk about only journaling but revolves around one of the main benefits of journaling which is intentionality. It repeatedly tells you why it is important to know why you are doing what you are doing. He explains a few Japanese techniques like Kaizen, FIVE WHYS, wabi sabi and how they can be incorporated into your bullet journal. There are also examples from his life how bullet journal helped him in tough situations of life which will motivate and guide you to start using it.


The book is divided into 4 blocks – Preparation, The system, The Practise and The Art. The first block gives you real life stories of how bullet journal helped the users. The second block is more of theory. The rules you need to know to start your bullet journal. The third block is more of motivational concepts to help you understand how you can use it. The last block talks about the practicality and other logs which you want to maintain.
What do you think of bullet journal? Share your thoughts in the comments section.
Happy Bullet Journaling!

Book Review – The Relationship Cure

Author: John Gottman
Print Copy
The relationship cure is a book true to its words. Even though some of the concepts were already known ones but the basic framework for a healthy relationship has been put in a neat and easily usable way.
The five steps involved in building a connection with anyone is
1.Analyze the way you bid and the way you respond to others’ bids.
2. Discover how your brain’s emotional command systems affect your bidding process.
3. Examine how your emotional heritage impacts your ability to connect with others and your style of bidding.
4. Develop your emotional communication skills.
5. Find shared meaning with others.
The beauty of the book is the way the author explained everything through examples which are easily relatable. Also, he mentions how it should not be done and the right way of dealing it. Even though most of it looks like common sense, that is the same common sense most of us lack when it comes to relationships.
A lot of relationships die because of the resentment which builds due to improper response to emotional bids. This is usually called as incompatibility whereas in reality it is just a matter of paying attention to your counterpart.
Even if you learn to pay attention, there is a way to communicate what you feel. You can’t be blunt and hurt the other person when they are trying to go out of their way to build the relation. There is a dedicated chapter which teaches you the basic way of communicating without offending the other person. The favorite part of this chapter for me is to collect emotional moments everyday.
Apart from the above, there are a lot of tests for you to figure out where you stand. The chapter on emotional command systems helped me in my project of classifying people based on their personality types. It explains that conflicts arise between two people because they don’t understand the emotional command system each one is built with.
Your present emotional intelligence is heavily dependent on the family you were raised in. Even though a part of it is influenced by the genes, the major part of it can be attributed to the brought up. There are tests to identify which family you were brought up in. Using that you understand the reason why you respond to emotional bids the way you do right now and how you can change them.
“Your eyes won’t lie”, this is a common statement I heard growing up. That’s true when it comes to body language. Even if you are saying nice things, when you don’t really mean it, it will show up in your body language. Any person with a bit of emotional intelligence will be able to pick up those cues.
The last but not the least part is about finding a shared meaning. Most of the deep friendships I have seen in my life rise through these. My meditation teacher also often advises me to find a deep shared meaning to build relation with anyone.

Who is this book for?

It is for anyone who is struggling to cope with their emotions. Even though the heading reads as a book on relationship, it is more about understanding yourself first. It helps you evaluate your current emotional intelligence, gives you tips on improving your intelligence and then apply them in your relations.

How should you read this book?

Don’t read it as a novel. Read a concept. Test it. It might take a week to a month. Then come back and evaluate where you stand and then proceed further.
I read this book at a stretch. But I realized that I wasn’t benefiting at all from the book. I will break it into actionable points and work on them over the next year.
Purchase your copy here.
Happy becoming emotionally intelligent!

Book Review – Emotional Intelligence 2.0

Author: Travis Bradberry
Print Edition | Kindle
I love the book Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman. Since I wanted to learn deeply about emotional intelligence, I picked up emotional intelligence 2.0 hoping that it is an advanced version of the first. But I was heavily disappointed. It hardly had anything new for me to learn. I didn’t have any insightful moments through the book. In fact, more than emotional intelligence, it was a book on mental health. The book I had started writing on depression had the same points which were mentioned in this book.
The book starts off with an example to show the importance of EQ over IQ and then he goes on to explain that IQ is static. It is a very bold statement to say that IQ is static because there have been real life cases where the IQ increased over time.
The author wanted to show off that it is statistically backed by highlighting them but it looked like they were just picked up from somewhere and were not framed in the right way. For example, performance at work is not just dependent on EQ. The other factors were not explicitly mentioned. Similarly, the case with increase in income.
I found the chapter 3 unnecessary as one entire chapter was dedicated to show examples of emotionally intelligent and not so intelligent people. Those examples were not really required as they don’t add a lot of value to the book. Instead, if the author would have mentioned how to receive feedback from others about myself and then show the comparison about where I lie, it would have been helpful.
The next few chapters gives you strategies which you would have already tried in your life if you cared about your wellbeing. I was happy after I knew my triggers. When I am lost in turbulence of emotions, I ask why. I read books which help me find words to my emotions. My favourite songs are the ones I deeply connect with. If I am anxious, I breathe in and breathe out. We all know that we need to treat stress before it eats us up. Everything I achieved in my life would not have been possible without an accountability partner. I watch people around me to see what they are going through. I think what might be running in their minds. I watch movies to see how people react in different situations.
I can go on and on. But I choose to stop here. If I must put this in a simpler way, whatever was mentioned in the book, I already tried and tested them. They help you lead a happier life but I am not sure if the same can be called as an emotionally intelligent life.
In case, if you don’t already lead a happy life and have no knowledge of emotional intelligence, then this book is for you. It is one of the basic books you can start off with which gives you simple tips on taking control over your emotions. But if you are looking at some advanced science, you will be disappointed.

The five love languages- Book review

Author : Gary Chapman
Print Copy | Kindle
A week back, one of my friends asked me
“ Should I go back to the first guy I spoke to? I don’t feel that way with anyone else?”
I said, “ No. You should just work it out with whoever you are speaking to now.”
She felt offended. “ Why do you look at arranged marriages lower to love marriages?”
I told her that in love marriages you are blinded with love initially, in arranged marriages you choose to love after marriage. A guy you meet in arranged marriage setup can make you feel the same if he chooses to make you feel that. You might never again feel after marriage the ‘in-love’ experience you are talking about.
She never replied to me. We have not spoken in the past ten days again.
Why does it take so much effort for a person to accept that love is a conscious choice you make?
This book answered that question of mine.
Even though this book has been written extensively for couples, it is not just for them. For any happy relation, you should be able to provide what they need and not what you can give.
If your baby is hungry and you give a toy, will it make the baby stop crying?
That is the concept which the author explained in the book.
It is a really short book. I finished it in one night. Even though it talks about the concept which we already know, he put a structure to it, which makes the concept clearer. He calls the way you can feel someone loved is like a language. If you don’t speak that language, you need to learn it. Knowing the language alone is not sufficient, you have to speak in the dialect too.
After each chapter, he gives you practical exercises which will help you take action on learning the language. At the end of the book, he has given a test to identify primary love language if you are not clear after reading the book.
I now know how to make my parents, sibling and friends feel loved. All I have to do is what they need and not what I can do the best to make them loved. Previously, I used to think that one form of expressing love was superior than others. But now I understand that one form is not superior than the other. It is about which one is important for the person you want to make feel loved.
Once when all my friends met, the host’s sister said “ Every weekend you complain that you have no one to go out with. Now when your friends are here, you just want to stay at home.”
My host friend said, “ All I want to do is spend time with them by playing indoor games and make wonderful memories.”
Her love language is quality time. What is yours?
Read the book and identify yours and that of important people in your life.
Happy loving!

Book Review – As a Man Thinketh

Author: James Allen
Print Copy | Kindle
It is one of the shortest books I ever read. It is second in the series of books I read on affirmations. When I read online reviews of Secret, everyone bashed the book saying it is all crap and too good to believe.
If the same message of secret has to be read in a compact, concise and classic style of writing, this is the book.
Did I learn something new from the book?
But I thoroughly enjoyed the writing style of the author. It looked like every sentence written in the book was harsh truth. It is one of the well written books I ever read. The words are so concise and to the point. The writing style is so difficult to emulate.One needs to really learned and a great writer to write it in a precise to the point way. The words he used go directly touch your conscience and question your thoughts.
Next time when you have evil or negative thoughts, his words come into your mind. They remind you that you are the creator of your destiny. Do you really want your life to unfold in this path?
If there is one word to summarize the book, it is self-control.



MAN’S mind may be likened to a garden, which may be intelligently cultivated or allowed to run wild; but whether cultivated or neglected, it must, and will, bring forth.


Thought and character are one, and as character can only manifest and discover itself through environment and circumstance, the outer conditions of a person’s life will always be found to be harmoniously related to his inner state


That circumstances grow out of thought every man knows who has for any length of time practised self-control and self-purification, for he will have noticed that the alteration in his circumstances has been in exact ratio with his altered mental condition.


The soul attracts that which it secretly harbours; that which it loves, and also that which it fears; it reaches the height of its cherished aspirations; it falls to the level of its unchastened desires,–and circumstances are the means by which the soul receives its own.


Circumstance does not make the man; it reveals him to himself


Men do not attract that which they want, but that which they are.


What, then, is the meaning of “fighting against circumstances?” It means that a man is continually revolting against an effect without, while all the time he is nourishing and preserving its cause in his heart. That cause may take the form of a conscious vice or an unconscious weakness; but whatever it is, it stubbornly retards the efforts of its possessor, and thus calls aloud for remedy.


Men are anxious to improve their circumstances, but are unwilling to improve themselves; they therefore remain bound


In the light of a deeper knowledge and wider experience such judgment is found to be erroneous. The dishonest man may have some admirable virtues, which the other does, not possess; and the honest man obnoxious vices which are absent in the other.


Good thoughts and actions can never produce bad results; bad thoughts and actions can never produce good results.


The circumstances, which a man encounters with suffering, are the result of his own mental in harmony.


Blessedness, not material possessions, is the measure of right thought; wretchedness, not lack of material possessions, is the measure of wrong thought. A man may be cursed and rich; he may be blessed and poor. Blessedness and riches are only joined together when the riches are rightly and wisely used; and the poor man only descends into wretchedness when he regards his lot as a burden unjustly imposed.


A man is not rightly conditioned until he is a happy, healthy, and prosperous being; and happiness, health, and prosperity are the result of a harmonious adjustment of the inner with the outer, of the man with his surroundings.


Men imagine that thought can be kept secret, but it cannot; it rapidly crystallizes into habit, and habit solidifies into circumstance


Impure thoughts of every kind crystallize into enervating and confusing habits, which solidify into distracting and adverse circumstances: thoughts of fear, doubt, and indecision crystallize into weak, unmanly, and irresolute habits, which solidify into circumstances of failure, indigence, and slavish dependence: lazy thoughts crystallize into habits of uncleanliness and dishonesty


The people who live in fear of disease are the people who get it.

Happy thinking in the right way!

Book Review- The Secret

Author: Rhonda Byrne
Print Copy | Kindle
The past two months had been crazy for me. I had been trying out various ways to reduce the stress. Then I decided that the best way is to start dealing with my thoughts. I am aware of the power of sending messages to sub-conscious mind. I use that power to wake up in the morning. I want to make use of the same power to bring positivity into my life and get rid of stress forever.
The affirmations I was doing were not helping me in any way. My angel friend asked me to read ‘The Secret’ to learn about the right way to do affirmations.
I started off the book with high hopes that it will change my life drastically. But all the author asks is to think positive. I have previously attracted a lot of things which I deeply wished for. I can only comment on the authenticity of the book after I attract them again now. To stay positive, I kept a reminder in my phone for Morning, afternoon, evening and night. I close my eyes, smile broadly and repeat these affirmations. Whenever I feel negative, I force a smile on my face and try to look at the positive side of the situation. I had been writing my gratitude journal for more number of times than I used to previously.



  • The dreams you have for your life exist in a parallel world. By emitting a signal of the frequency of your dream, you bring that into reality
  • When you have good thoughts you feel positive emotions like joy, excitement. The more you feel this way, the more positivity you attract into life
  • Process
    • Step 1: The ask
      • From the catalogue of Universe wish for what you want
    • Step 2: The believe
      • Have faith that what you asked for is already yours
    • Step 3: The receive
      • Feel what it is like. To receive your order, all you have to do is feel good


The doubts of mine which the book answered

Will I ruin my life if I think negatively?
The power of a good thought is 100 times the power of a negative thought
What if I wish for what is not right for me?
There is a time delay between what you wish for and what you get
How do I know if I am thinking good thoughts?
Emotions are a result of our thoughts. In case you are not sure what you are thinking, ask yourself how you are feeling. That answers the question about the depth of your thoughts.
What do I do when I am spiralling down the negativity pillar?
Trigger the warning button and command it to change frequency
How to start with the positive thoughts?
Close your eyes. Focus on the feelings inside and smile.
How long will it take?
It takes the time for you to align your thoughts and be sure to reach the frequency of your dream
Will it take longer time to attract bigger things?
When you are considering something as big, you are not believing that you can get it. In that case, you can start small and slowly increase it.
Is there enough for all I ask for?
You can’t attract all you want if you have scarcity mentality. There is enough for everyone in the Universe.
How to deal with doubts?
Send that thought away. Tell yourself that you know that you are receiving the order
What to do about the events which did not go the way you want?
Replay them in the way you wish they could have happened

Best Practices


  • Let the first and last thought of the day be good ones
  • Practise meditation to gain control over your thoughts
  • Make a list of secret shifters which can change your mood immediately
  • Create your day in advance. Imagine what you want your day to look like
  • Practise gratitude. If you are not happy with what you already have, you will not get into the frequency of receiving bigger things in life
  • Visual motor rehearsal -By visualizing what you want, you are practising it in real
  • Cultivate abundant mentality
  • Make affirmations a daily practise


Mistakes to avoid


  • Don’t contradict your own thoughts
  • Don’t wish bad for others. Those thoughts will attract negativity into your life



“Whatever you sow, you reap! Your thoughts are seeds, and the harvest you reap will depend on the seeds you plant.”
“You create your own universe as you go along.”

Summary in a sentence

Be happy. Think positive. You manifest all you wish.

Do I believe in the secret?

I believe that I am more creative and productive when I am happy. The happier I am, the better progress I make. The more progress I make, the closer I am to the reality of my dreams.
Happy attracting your dreams!

Never Split the Difference – Book Review

Author: Chris Voss
Print Copy | Kindle
Never Split the difference is one of the best books I ever read. If anyone asks me for a life changing book, I will definitely suggest this.

What makes the book life changing?

Most of the conversations we have in daily life involve negotiations. From agreeing to a common breakfast to buying a house, everything is a deal. Yet we fail terribly to wade through them and compromise in life. As a result life becomes bitter, powerless or power hungry.
After reading this book, I became more observant in how negotiations are a part of daily conversations. It helped me avoid a few negotiation traps which I would have never recognized if not for this book. The conversations with sellers were excellent revision to the concepts I learned in this book. I also learned to empathize with people around me before I make my statement. If not for anything else, I won one negotiation. But all this is just the beginning. Previously I used to wonder what is there in a book to read it again and again. But this is a book, I want to read again and again till I master the concepts.

About the book

Chris Voss was an American FBI negotiator. He wrote the book quoting examples from his experience as FBI negotiator. I was hooked to the book in the beginning feeling awed at the way negotiations are done at that level. In the later part of the book, he included daily life examples too. The best part of the book is there is a summary after each chapter so that you need not take pains to make notes. It also has a chapter to teach you how to negotiate a salary. Even though I got bored in between, overall it was a great read.
In the appendix, he even gave out a summary of how to do a negotiation.
Happy learning how to negotiate!